The Mahperi Huand Hatun Complex is comprised of a hamam, a mosque, a madrasa, and a mausoleum, all built in finely cut stone. It was completed in 1238, commissioned by Mahperi Hatun, the wife of Seljuk Sultan Keykubad I (1220-1237) and mother of Sultan Keyhüsrev II (1238-1246). It is the first multi-use complex built by the Seljuks of Rum. Archaeological evidence indicates that the hamam is the oldest building on the site; given that its eastern corner was cut away to make room for the adjacent mosque, it was probably built independently before the other structures.
The Huand Hatun Hamam is a double bath with men's and women's sections built side by side. The men's changing room has been destroyed, but the smaller room for the women, a long barrel-vaulted room, remains. The vault here is supported by a central arch, while foundations of the men's changing room suggest that two arches were used to support its vault. The men's tepidarium is also barrel-vaulted, and leads to a domed caldarium with four iwans and small domed chambers in each corner. The interior is lit by an open oculus that was once covered by a lantern. The women's bath is smaller, with a tepidarium of three distinct rooms that lead into a caldarium. The square hot-room has iwans on only three sides and two corner chambers. The tepidarium is decorated with glazed ceramic tiles laid in a star and cross pattern.
To the east of the hamam is the large mosque, which is entered through a western portal decorated with geometric patterns. The mosque is ten bays deep and eight bays wide. The space is defined by two courts along the central north-south axis that are each composed of four bays. The south court is in front of the mihrab and covered by an original dome. The other court is at the center of the mosque. This area was likely once open to sky, but is now covered by a 19th century twelve-sided dome raised high over the mosque. The symmetrical plan is broken at the northwest corner where six bays have been given over to the separate octagonal mausoleum of Mahperi Huand Hatun.
The mausoleum (kümbet) is built on a plinth of marble and surmounted by a pyramidal roof. Each of the eight façades has two small windows separated by a central white marble column and crowned with a pointed arch. Most of the exterior is plain ashlar masonry, but the borders of each face are carved with intricate interlocking geometric patterns. An inscriptive band envelops the entire exterior of the tomb above the arches. The chamber within is entered by stairs from the madrasa.
The madrasa, which once taught Islamic Law, adjoins the mosque at the mosque's northwest corner. It is entered through a portal facing west that opens through a small iwan onto an arcaded courtyard. The far end of the court is dominated by a large pointed-arch iwan in the center. Small doorways lead off either side to large chambers in the north and south corners. Behind the colonnade on both the east and west sides of the courtyard are eight vaulted cells. It is no longer in use as a school.
The baths and mosque are still in use today.
Akurgal, Ekrem, and Léo Hilber. The Art and architecture of Turkey, 91. New York: Rizzoli, 1980.
Aslanapa, Oktay. Turkish art and architecture, 113. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971.